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Ron Johnson Suing To Cut Health Care Subsidies For Congress, Staff

Ron Johnson Suing To Cut Health Care Subsidies For Congress, Staff | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is expected to file a lawsuit Monday against the Obama administration to prevent members of Congress and their staff from receiving employer contributions to their health care plans.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Personally, I beleive that most members of Congress, while many are wealthy and don't need more, are underpaid. This is another way to cut that remuneration, which I dislike. Worse, their staff, who are often very underpaid for the work and the costs associated with their jobs, will surely suffer. Meanwhile, I am curious to see how the rest of the Congress and their staffs treat this guy and any bills he may introduce. I wouldn't want to be his gopher, who will probably spend a lot of time with doors being slammed in his face.

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How Catholic Insurance Companies Outsource Contraceptive Coverage

How Catholic Insurance Companies Outsource Contraceptive Coverage | Upsetment | Scoop.it
For years Catholic health plans have been arranging for independent insurance firms to provide contraceptive coverage to their enrollees.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I do not understand how companies can, from a religious perspective, have moral choices since they have no souls to be judged. If the owners of a company have the moral responsibility for making decisions such as the coverage of birth control, how can they then avoid liability for other actions by their businesses? So, can we please have a trial of all GM stock holders, BP, and the list goes on.

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The Islamic State of Sexual Violence

The Islamic State of Sexual Violence | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The jihadists' rape campaign in Iraq and Syria is not a women's issue. It is a terror tactic and a crime against humanity. So why won't anyone in Washington talk about it?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The real challenge is getting Islamic clerics to speak out with certainty to condemn this behavior. It is reported that "during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, a rapist was punished based on only the testimony of the victim. Wa'il ibn Hujr reported that a woman publicly identified a man who had raped her. The people caught the man and brought him to the Prophet Muhammad. He told the woman to go, that she was not to be blamed, and ordered that the man be put to death." On the other hand, we have this: "Qur’an 33:50—O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war ..." which clearly gives possession of women taken in war to the fighters making it not rape but rightful possession. So it isn't clear if Islam condemns this as a crime against Allah or not. Again, how do we get the clerics to condemn the behavior?  

 

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Senate Republicans Filibuster Equal Pay For Women Bill

Senate Republicans Filibuster Equal Pay For Women Bill | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As expected, Senate Republicans filibustered legislation on Monday aimed at helping women fight for equal pay in the workplace, a vote held by Democrats to attack the GOP ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

The vote was 52 for, 40 against, falling short of the 60 needed to defeat a filibuster.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is it the proper role of government to protect workers from the tyranny of employers? To protect one class of citizens from discrimination? To make sure that the sine qua non of capitalism, the free flow of information, is available to all? I think so. The Democrats in the Senate seem to think so. But there are those who will still vote for the GOP. I suppose that makes sense for some men, those who are getting the advantage, but for women and those who believe in fair play and equal opportunity?

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Glitch in health care law allows employers to offer substandard insurance

Glitch in health care law allows employers to offer substandard insurance | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Some low-cost plans qualify under the law but don’t cover basic benefits such as hospitalization.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sadly, there will always be those who will game the system for their own gain, and the people who designed the Affordable Care Act certainly wen about building a camel rather than a race horse. Is it better than it was? Yes. Is that good enough? Of course not. Sadly, the next congress will be more GOP and I don't see them correcting flaws.

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Fishing for shrimp, but netting jail time | Al Jazeera America

Fishing for shrimp, but netting jail time | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A depleted marine population in Indian waters forces fishermen to illegally ply their trade in Sri Lanka
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Another example of how technology has negative consequences in the real world and how government planning has to include environmental concerns if mankind is going to survive. Sadly, in this story it is some of the poorest people on earth who are suffering and whose livelihoods are being threatened by what was thought of as progress. 

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Ted Cruz Blames Anti-Semitism After Arab Christians Boo Him Off Stage

Ted Cruz Blames Anti-Semitism After Arab Christians Boo Him Off Stage | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) walked off the stage Wednesday night after being jeered by an audience of Arab Christians he had challenged to "stand with Israel."
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Well, nobody can accuse him of trying to please the room. Being tone deaf is another matter. I didn't think he was fit for the presidency, but this incompetent? Who knew?

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How Christian fundamentalist homeschooling damages children

How Christian fundamentalist homeschooling damages children | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The religious right touts homeschooling as a viable educational alternative. Parents, grads tell a different story
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is homeschooling educational neglect or protection of ones children from an intrusive state? Should "Biblical" based ideology be allowed as the basis of homeschooling or should there be regulation to require a full range of academics? For my part, I think many of these families have very bright kids who are being deprived of a chance to reach their full potential, especially the girls.

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Tough tax rules see expats ditch US passports

Tough tax rules see expats ditch US passports | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Expatriate Americans are renouncing their citizenship in record volumes because of increasingly onerous tax-filing requirements.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Should Americans have to pay income tax is they are living abroad? I would say yes because they continue to be eligible for American protection and services and especially yes if their incomes or the wealth which they now possess came from the states. On the other hand, the process should be simplified and the tax not unduly onerous. One thing I always thought the Soviet Union was right about was requiring repayment for education when people chose to emigrate. If a country has invested in your human and economic capital that state has a claim on you. On the other hand, the poor and those seeking refuge status, be they from the U.S. or any country have an argument against owing anything to a country that has not provided them government protection. Your thoughts?

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How Propaganda Inflates Threats Against Police Officers

How Propaganda Inflates Threats Against Police Officers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In the wake of Ferguson protests, there’s been a concerted efforts from some commentators to defend police tactics in mainstream press, trying to win back public opinion after Ferguson Officer Darren Brown shot unarmed teen Michael Brown.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We are often told that police have shot an unarmed young black man because of the imminent threat to their, the police's, safety. My take away line from this piece is: "There have been more incidents of police officers killing unarmed black men since July 17 of this year than there have been incidents of police officers being killed by unarmed assailants in the past three years." (By the way that is white and black unarmed assailants.) If you read the actual data, which this piece provides, it becomes clear that the police are ginning up their rational for violence and it is time to rein them in. 

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Norway to send inmates abroad

Norway to send inmates abroad | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The major reason that Norway, which has a very low incarceration rate and which treats their convicts with respect, has to send some prisoners to Holland is the need to refurbish older prisons. Holland, too, has a history of treating most prisoners with care and respect. Both countries have very low rates of crime and very, very low rates of recidivism. Their goal is a just and rehabilitative system not punishment and even worse social control.

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They fought the law. Who won?

They fought the law. Who won? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Innocent motorists caught in seizure net face costly fights to get their money back
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In every war there are casualties among the innocent civilians, but when the war is fought by your own government against you, such casualties become unacceptable. When the wars being fought are the war on drugs and the war on terror, the bureaucratic doublespeak and claptrap of behind which the real terrorists lurk becomes totally obscene, Under cover of authority, the worst of behavior goes on and is protected. Shame on us for allowing this.

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Pastor tries to get guns off Chicago streets and the NRA calls him a terrorist

Pastor tries to get guns off Chicago streets and the NRA calls him a terrorist | Upsetment | Scoop.it
by Dr Boyce Watkins

One of the great champions of the black community is Father Michael Pfleger, ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Once it was a mark of honor to have an FBI dossier. Then it was the NSA. Now the NRA? Wow, what a strange place America has become. Anyway, congratulations to Father Pfleger. Yes, keep working to fight guns in Chicago.

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U.S. Air Force: Swear to God—or Get Out

U.S. Air Force: Swear to God—or Get Out | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In a new, unexplained shift, the Air Force is compelling its troops to use the phrase ‘so help me God’ in their oaths or be discharged.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

There is something profoundly disturbing about this story. Even if the decision is reversed, that officers within the Air Force would think it alright to issue such a "fatwa" or religious decree, is against the freedom of religion and thought on which this country is based. I would suggest that the Sect. of the Air Force take immediate steps to discipline these zealots.

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A New Way Insurers are Shifting Costs to the Sick

A New Way Insurers are Shifting Costs to the Sick | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By charging higher prices for generic drugs that treat certain illness, health insurers may be violating the spirit of the Affordable Care Act, which bans discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We should have a single-payer system like most of the advanced countries of the world. This country is so preoccupied with the myth of capitalism that we can't get out of our own way.

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Can Obama Keep His Generals in Check in the War Against ISIS?

Can Obama Keep His Generals in Check in the War Against ISIS? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The president promised no combat troops to fight ISIS, but his top general says he may recommend them. Why Obama and his commanders are not on the same page for the new war.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We have become a nation preoccupied with war and militarism. What is more horrifying is how many of our "political" leaders share that preoccupation. It is one thing to help solve world problems; it is another to constantly intensify them and create them with the unthinking deployment of the military. If the countries of the Middle East don't want to help stabilize their own region, we can't do it. If Iran, Russia, and Turkey aren't on board, things will go badly. The only real way forward is through shared effort and mutual recognition of the legitimacy of differences and identities.

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Witnesses say Utah man killed by police was running away, attorney says

Witnesses say Utah man killed by police was running away, attorney says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A 22-year-old black man with a sword may have been running away when Utah police fatally shot him "numerous" times from behind last week, an attorney for the man's family said over the weekend.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is it not time for a federal task force dedicated to police crimes against Black men? Yes, IMHO, it is about race, and it isn't getting better.

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Malala suspects held - Pakistan army

Malala suspects held - Pakistan army | Upsetment | Scoop.it

"The group involved in the attack on Malala Yousafzai has been arrested," army spokesman Gen Asim Bajwa told a news conference on Friday.

He said 10 members of a faction called "Shura", which the army says is part of the Pakistani Taliban (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP), had been arrested in a joint operation with Pakistan's army, police and intelligence services."

Kenneth Weene's insight:

One of the saddest realities of human society is that when a people  are deprived of autonomy, liberty, and quality of life the most brutal and hateful among them often rise to leadership. While I support the creation of a modern Pashto state in Afghanistan and part of Pakistan, the brutality and repressiveness (especially towards women) of the Taliban must disgust us all. Malala is not just a symbol of the educational rights of young women but of the rights of the Pashto to proper government.

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Molotov Cocktails Thrown Through Window of Black Missouri Congressman’s Office

Molotov Cocktails Thrown Through Window of Black Missouri Congressman’s Office | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Police reported this morning that two Molotov cocktails were thrown through the window of Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver's Kansas City office at approximately 2:50 a.m. From the Kansas City Star: Responding officers found a broken window on the northwest side of the building. On the ground below the window were...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We can only hope that the perpetrators will be found and prosecuted. I only hope that they have no ties to any political party or candidate. This is the kind of home-grown terrorism that needs to be extinguished right off.

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Amazon destruction increases again

Amazon destruction increases again | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Humans working to make the world uninhabitable one acre of trees at a time.

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Lonely sentinels keep watch over ill-fated 9/11 trial

Lonely sentinels keep watch over ill-fated 9/11 trial | Upsetment | Scoop.it
On a May morning more than two years ago, Rita Lasar and Debra Burlingame waited in silence as the lights dimmed in a movie theater on an Army base deep in Brooklyn. The hundreds of seats in the Fort Hamilton theater are, on other occasions, filled with soldiers and their families watching blockbusters. But today, the nearly empty theater has been repurposed to show close family members of 9/11 victims the opening day of the long-awaited trial of the five men accused of masterminding the attacks that killed their loved ones.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This has truly become the theater of the absurd that is government dysfunction. In the end we can only hope that something like justice will be done.

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Wealthy Kids Are More Affected by Divorce Than Poor Kids

Wealthy Kids Are More Affected by Divorce Than Poor Kids | Upsetment | Scoop.it
And study says it's not just because they suddenly have less money
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It always seemed to me that kids from upper middle class homes and especially those who were younger felt that life was more about them, probably because there is more focus on them during family interaction. Suddenly, divorce. Not only is that focus blown away but they also feel more guilt, that they have failed.

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Ferguson city council says it plans reforms

Ferguson city council says it plans reforms | Upsetment | Scoop.it
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The Ferguson City Council, set to meet Tuesday for the first time since the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer, said it plans to establish a review board to help guide the police department and make other changes aimed at improving community relations.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Can we all say, "A dollar short and a day late?" Seems like these reforms are so small and were so obvious that this announcement only makes the problem in Ferguson even more obvious. Of course, the biggest problem is that the citizens of the town haven't been taking part in the voting process which has allowed the current crop of "leaders" to stay in power. Time for a community organizer and a real turn-out-the-vote effort.

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Bank clients of Middle Eastern descent want answers on closed accounts

Bank clients of Middle Eastern descent want answers on closed accounts | Upsetment | Scoop.it
From Washington state to Florida, surprising letters from banks have turned up in the mailboxes of at least a dozen people.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I think we all know why this is happening. It is the banks toadying to the government is a little thing cloaked under the guise of the war on terror in the hope that the government bureaucracy will see them as being the good guys. The hell with all the shenanigans they pull raising debit car fees or foreclosing on the homes of deployed soldiers , etc. They helped fight terrorism by screwing around with some decent Arab American or legal immigrant. One more pathetic example of how dysfunctional we have become.

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“Son, Men Don’t Get Raped”

“Son, Men Don’t Get Raped” | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Sexual assault is alarmingly common in the U.S. military, and more than half of the victims are men. These are the stories you never hear—because the culprits almost always go free, the survivors rarely speak, and no one in the military or Congress has done enough to stop it.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If this article is accurate, the rate of men being raped in the military is ten times the rate in civilian life; that is not only horrifying, but totally unacceptable.

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Why is a mom facing jail for helping her teen have an abortion?

Why is a mom facing jail for helping her teen have an abortion? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The punishing price of abortion restrictions
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While this mother broke the law and while there are good reasons for some of those laws, as witnessed by the fact that her daughter ended up needing hospital care, what this story clearly shows is the need for better access to medical care for the poor and for better access to gynecological care in particular. Of course good sex education is also important so cases like this can be avoided by prevention.

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